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UltimateNagash
26-09-2006, 12:59
I know about the Astartes 19 new organs and all that, but how are Primarchs better than their Chapter? Extra organs?
In other words, what actually makes a Primarch a Primarch?

Dakkagor
26-09-2006, 13:05
Pretty much, being as far above a space marine as a space marine is above a human, probably on a logarithmic scale, with atleast one unique skill thrown in to truly define the primarch (for instance, Angrons rage, Horus's charisma, Sanguinus purity, ect ect)

The_Patriot
26-09-2006, 13:48
His pedigree papers? :D

UltimateNagash
26-09-2006, 14:48
But how?
Oh, and you forgot Sanguinus having freaking wings!

Gdolkin
26-09-2006, 14:51
Being an utterly unique demi-god ubermensch created by the Emperor himself from his own genetic template? Space Marines are heavily-augmented humans, but Primarchs were never even human as such, they were specifically created to be as equals to the Emperor, and while He and so I suppose the Primarchs are technically human, they are so far off the scale in power etc that a quantitative difference becomes a qualitative difference. The Primarchs could not have been made by anyone but the Emperor, and could never be replicated, and never had mothers. read Angels of Darkness by Gav Thorpe, Horus Rising by Dan Abnett and False Gods by Graham McNeill.

UltimateNagash
26-09-2006, 15:09
I've read the last two books on the list, and am half way through the third Horus Hersay book. I'll see about Angels of Darkness.

Commander Ozae
26-09-2006, 15:18
What makes a primarch is nearly 1,000 years of gathering data and experimenting on mutations based on the basic template in the Emperor's genes and then resulting in a being of godlike power and intellect. I remember reading somewhere that the Emperor might have intended the primarchs to be the engineered next step in human evolution so they could resist Chaos and evolve into a pyshic race but i don't know if that fluff is still valid.

The Laughing Gods Avatar
26-09-2006, 21:30
I remember reading somewhere that the Emperor might have intended the primarchs to be the engineered next step in human evolution so they could resist Chaos and evolve into a pyshic race but i don't know if that fluff is still valid.

Well based on the current situation of the galaxy I would assume that is not the case.

The Emperor created the primarchs to lead his soldiers around the galaxy in a great crusade that would reunite all of man kind and expand his territory to the very reaches of space.

Obviously they failed and all of that did not happen, and the reason it did not happen is that the primarchs were not able to resist chaos and overcome the core frailties of man. They are the very pinnacles of what man (Astartes) can be they are stronger, faster, smarter, more physically resilient than even the Astartes many times over, but are still human at core.

So besides the obvious superior physical abilities, their humanity is what makes a primarch a primarch.

CommanderCax
26-09-2006, 21:56
what actually makes a Primarch a Primarch?

The Astartes are 'only' genetically enhanced humans that got a few extra organs and gimmicks. The Primarchs on the other hand are creatures of considerable power and the Emperor certainly fed some ammount of psychic energy and probably even some of his own 'soul' into their creation. This and the enhancement through long lost and extremely sophisticated technology make s them so unique and unreproducable...

Wraith
26-09-2006, 22:12
The suggestion is from the HH books that a primarch is more than what can be achieved with science alone...

The primarch's must have at least all the astartes organs as the gene seed were cultured from them (Sanguinius after his death is another example).

They have more additional organs though IMHO...

Commander Ozae
26-09-2006, 22:19
They must have many additional organs. If we look in the IA (volume 2 maybe) there is an investigation into the Cursed Founding where the AdMech tried to create new primarchs and derive new geneseed from them. Obviously that failed but the description of the "primarchs" indicates uber SM organs and many other types of organs never before seen.

Hellebore
26-09-2006, 22:34
Yeah, but you can't just say, 'They had extra organs on top of the marine ones'
because there is no way they would FIT.

Look at it logically: The primarchs were not 20 foot tall giants, they were usually larger than a space marine, but not by much. Only Horus and Magnus are described as being 'big'.

They were also 'just' human. There WAS fluff in the Realms of Chaos books I believe that said they had warp energy powering them, but I'm not sure what that would 'do', let alone how it would work, or how valid it is now.

And remember, not all the primarchs were psychic. The emperor was famously strangled by an ork, and Horus saved his life. Thus the Emperor is also vulnerable to physical attack.

The Emperor was said to be able to lift great weights and fight monsters etc, but with the super psychic powers he had, levitating tanks wouldn't have been a problem, so how do we know he was actually PHYSICALLY strong, and not merely psychically?

Bot the emperor and the primarchs were made of meat. We know NOW what meat is and is not capable of, and thus can apply the same to them. Proteins denature and burn at high temperatures, they bind preferentially to heavy metals etc etc

Sure, genetic engineering can do SOME things, but alot of what a protein is, is NATURALLY how it forms. You can't really improve on the natural conformation of a protein fold, because it won't bond properly.

Thus, the primarchs may have had denser muscles, better blood, more efficient lymphocytes, but at the end of the day, they were still just meat.

And as shown, meat gets old, and meat can die.

They certainly weren't made of some sort of "Primarchtanium" :rolleyes:

Hellebore

Philip S
26-09-2006, 22:51
Good points hellebore,

As I understand it, and this may be mixing editions, is that the geneseeds that grow into the special organs/ implants within the Space Marines are based on Primarch DNA (apart from the black carapace).

It seems the Primarch had warp power strength, but they were not all renowned Psykers. So at a guess I think their powers are in a similar vein as the navigators powers, ie. In built an part of their makeup. There powers were natural and part of their structure, they couldn't turn it off, and were always powerful.

The last part, and this is really going out on a limb is that they had powerful 'souls'. It may be that a simple clone may produce a body that can contain a super powerful soul, but would contain a normal human soul. The trick the Emperor pulls of with the Primarchs is that he manages, with various degrees of success, to clone his soul or use his soul as a template to manufacture synthetic souls.

I would say the thing that makes the Emperor 'the emperor', and the super Psyker he is, is down to his super soul composed of many shaman's souls. Perhaps the Primarch's souls are made from many sacrificed Psykers?

If the Primarch were made form many Psykers, it may explain why they are all slightly different, as each as a unique mix of unique souls.

Philip

Nazguire
26-09-2006, 22:57
They certainly weren't made of some sort of "Primarchtanium" :rolleyes:

Hellebore

No one said they were, but being 40k and such, a heap of 'forbidden and lost' knowledge will have been discovered.

Yes it's the standard 'they know things we don't' approach, but to a wildly different fantasy setting like 40k and the Primarchs, it fits.

All the background indicates super strong, super fast, immortal, latently psychic (or not depending on who it was) supermen. Unfortunately, regardless of logic or not, and the weaknesses of proteins, and the eventual death of stem cells (which they must have fixed, hence the immortality) etc, they are still what they (GW) calls them, regardless of personal preference, which is a 'God amongst men'.

Hellebore
27-09-2006, 00:09
which is a 'God amongst men'.

True, but a chihuahua is a god amongst ants, so that isn't as impressive a title as it sounds:p

Hellebore

Dakkagor
27-09-2006, 00:29
But comparing a small mexican lap dog and an ant are like comparing a guardsmen and a biotitan. Sure, the biotitan has the power of life and death over a guardsmen, and is therefore godly, but they are from two different species evolved to complete two different goals. The humans job is to survive savanna grasslands by outthinking its opponent and making tools, while the biotitans job is to kill every mutha####er in the room, to the power of 10.

What makes a primarch godly, compared to a human, is that it is still human by the broadest definitions. Two legs, two arms, head above the torso ect ect. But compared to joe guardsmen, you have a truly legendary figure, someone who could go toe to toe with hercules or achilles and expect to come out on top, who is ferociously intelligent, who is equipped with the best tools your culture can make (or he can make, in the case of Ferrus Manus or Vulkan) and is a born leader. Thats what makes a primarch godly: a total surpasation of the human condition, from frail savanna dwelling hairless ape, to inheritor of a hostile galaxy.

Hellebore
27-09-2006, 00:52
But comparing a small mexican lap dog and an ant are like comparing a guardsmen and a biotitan. Sure, the biotitan has the power of life and death over a guardsmen, and is therefore godly, but they are from two different species evolved to complete two different goals. The humans job is to survive savanna grasslands by outthinking its opponent and making tools, while the biotitans job is to kill every mutha####er in the room, to the power of 10.

What makes a primarch godly, compared to a human, is that it is still human by the broadest definitions. Two legs, two arms, head above the torso ect ect. But compared to joe guardsmen, you have a truly legendary figure, someone who could go toe to toe with hercules or achilles and expect to come out on top, who is ferociously intelligent, who is equipped with the best tools your culture can make (or he can make, in the case of Ferrus Manus or Vulkan) and is a born leader. Thats what makes a primarch godly: a total surpasation of the human condition, from frail savanna dwelling hairless ape, to inheritor of a hostile galaxy.

My main point was that the term "a god amongst men" is a throw away line that doesn't actually MEAN anything, and is entirely contextual.

Thus, comparatively, a primarch need not be a literal god to BE a god amongst men.

Hellebore

Wazzahamma
27-09-2006, 04:42
I think we can throw away any attempts at 'real science' here, since even a Space Marine with all his implants is physically impossible (on a mass to strength ratio level at the very least).

Also, we should probably discount most of the information from the IA articles on the Primarchs as a lot of it is clearly mythical in nature and probably exagerrated.

Going from the recent HH novels like Horus Rising, False Gods and Galaxy in Flames, I think we can ascertain the following:

1) Primarch's proportions are huge. As big as a marine is to a human, a primarch is to a marine, making them around 9-10ft. Angron, Magnus, Horus and Dorn are described as being of the same height, with roughly the same width (though Angron is supposedly more broad than Horus), so we can sssume the same holds true for the other 14.

2) Their strength is also immense. Angron survived a veritable avalanche and Horus ripped of Custodes heads as if they were paper dolls (and the Custodians are supposedly more hardy than the astartes). Angron in battle was so frightening that Tarvitz, who had never given in to fear and run from a fight, retreated at the mere sight of him.

3) They appear to posses the same organs as the marines, just 'naturally' rather than surgically. Horus has two hearts and his wounds clot over extremely quickly. His immune system is also superhumanly efficient. It is suggested that the Primarchs are immortal in nature and that they will not die of natural causes.

It doesn't seem implausible to suggest that they have extra organs or mutations that were not passed on to the astartes, when you consider that Sanguinius has wings.

4) Their intellect is above that of the marines. Horus' ability to recognise mathematical patterns in a matter of seconds while the rest of his legion are scratching their heads over the problem, astounds Loken. And we shouldn't forget that marines IQ are artifically boosted to above average/gifted levels.

5) They were created to be able to channel great amounts of warp energy.

6) As a matter of conjecture from the IA articles, we can also reasonably suppose that all Primarchs had some measure of psychic potential-

Magnus is an accomplished psyker of the first order.
Sanguinius recognises the Emperor for who he is immediately and foresees his own death.
Konrad Curze similarly knows his father, foresees his own death as well as other gloomy futures.
Lorgar also had visions of the Emperor before meeting him.
Fulgrim and Guilliman both recognised the Emperor for who he was and their own relationship to him upon sight. Jaghatai also did to a lesser degree.
Dorn sought the Emperor out instead of the other way around, so it's possible that he felt some sort of psychic link to his father that lead to their reunion on his terms.

The other primarchs might have had similar abilities to varied extents that are unexplored, unknown or untold.




That's all from my hazy memory, since I don't have the books in front of me at the moment.

skyfurnace
27-09-2006, 05:06
[QUOTE]Look at it logically: The primarchs were not 20 foot tall giants, they were usually larger than a space marine, but not by much. Only Horus and Magnus are described as being 'big'.

I'm not sure about 2nd or 3rd Ed. fluff, because I honestly wasn't paying much attention to it as much as I do now, but in the HH books of late, Horus is described as towering over a Space Marine as a Space Marine towers over a human mortal. Rogal Dorn, Sanguinus, Magnus and Angron are all described to be of similar stature.

This is just me, but I'd imagine that if a mini was created for the Primarchs based on the HH novels and their fluff contribution to the WH40K mythology, it would be roughly the size and stature of a Daemon Prince.



They were also 'just' human. There WAS fluff in the Realms of Chaos books I believe that said they had warp energy powering them, but I'm not sure what that would 'do', let alone how it would work, or how valid it is now.

Not only were they "just" or "only" human, a couple of them really aren't all that nice and benevolent AT ALL towards the at-large masses of humanity that they are "sworn" to protect. Angron in particular (and I'm pretty familiar with his fluff) is pretty much a psychopath BEFORE falling to Chaos. Horus didn't need help bringing Angron down... but he probably could have used a couple of hinderances, all things being equal.



And remember, not all the primarchs were psychic. The emperor was famously strangled by an ork, and Horus saved his life. Thus the Emperor is also vulnerable to physical attack.

That's something I didn't know. I really DO need to get a hold of a fluff bible...


The Emperor was said to be able to lift great weights and fight monsters etc, but with the super psychic powers he had, levitating tanks wouldn't have been a problem, so how do we know he was actually PHYSICALLY strong, and not merely psychically?

I was under the assumption that it was his armor that really augmented his physical strength more than anything else.


Bot the emperor and the primarchs were made of meat. We know NOW what meat is and is not capable of, and thus can apply the same to them. Proteins denature and burn at high temperatures, they bind preferentially to heavy metals etc etc

Horus was brought low by a toxin. Granted, it was something a little more sophisticated than arsenic in his tea or whatnot, but it essentially took MAGIC to save his life. Primarchs are far from indestructable. IIRC, there's a point in the second HH book where Horus actually has a bit of a time fighting with a daemon possessed naval officer... so yeah, even Horus has his physical limitations and he was considered the "first among equals" of the Primarchs.



Thus, the primarchs may have had denser muscles, better blood, more efficient lymphocytes, but at the end of the day, they were still just meat.

Isn't this where Fabius Bile's experiments come in? Isn't he trying to take the Space Marine to the "next level?"


And as shown, meat gets old, and meat can die.

Although, it's stated somewhere that were it not for the short life expectancy of a Space Marine due to their martial lifestyle, they are effectively immortal. They can live pretty much forever unless they're killed... and if you pop a bolt up into 'em, they die just like everything else.


Hellebore

Wazzahamma
27-09-2006, 05:31
Not only were they "just" or "only" human, a couple of them really aren't all that nice and benevolent AT ALL towards the at-large masses of humanity that they are "sworn" to protect. Angron in particular (and I'm pretty familiar with his fluff) is pretty much a psychopath BEFORE falling to Chaos. Horus didn't need help bringing Angron down... but he probably could have used a couple of hinderances, all things being equal.

I think that what GW are trying to portray with the Primarchs is that they had the power of Gods but the hearts of men. Even the Emperor was doomed in this way.

I also get the impression from his IA article and some of the World Eaters we meet in the novels, that there was some honour and nobility to Angron at one point.



I was under the assumption that it was his armor that really augmented his physical strength more than anything else.

This is a matter of some debate. The IA articles depiction of the Emperor alongside Horus' vision in False Gods suggests that he is a "golden giant", further supposing that he is physically exceptional in a similar way to the Primarchs.

Whether he is genuinely like this or it's an illusion or misinformation hasn't been clarified yet.


Horus was brought low by a toxin. Granted, it was something a little more sophisticated than arsenic in his tea or whatnot, but it essentially took MAGIC to save his life.

But the toxin almost killed Horus because his immune system and healing abilities were too efficient. It was specifically engineered to be able to take advantage of this efficiency, thus making it a "primarch-killer".

Hellebore
27-09-2006, 06:09
But the toxin almost killed Horus because his immune system and healing abilities were too efficient. It was specifically engineered to be able to take advantage of this efficiency, thus making it a "primarch-killer".

Well, that pretty much puts paid the whole 'gods' notion, or at least the IMAGE people seem to associate with the concept of a primarch as a 'god'.

That would be like creating a toxin that takes advantage of omnipotence, to kill a 'real' god.

Obviously being 'meat' certainly had its disadvantages.

This topic came up in a thread a while ago titled "Primarch VS Phoenix Lord".

Primarchs have biological components that are susceptable to biological attack, whilst a phoenix lord is an animated suit of wraithbone with the souls of dozens of eldar warriors working as a gestalt to control it.

From any perspective, being made of biological components is a downer for Primarch godhood.


Hellebore

Wazzahamma
27-09-2006, 06:11
Depends on your definition of a 'god'. Certainly, most greek, roman, chinese and norse gods of myth were killable through physical means. They were still "gods" though.

CommanderCax
27-09-2006, 08:51
Sure, genetic engineering can do SOME things, but alot of what a protein is, is NATURALLY how it forms. You can't really improve on the natural conformation of a protein fold, because it won't bond properly.

That's true. Genetic engineering could do some things and in a fictious best case scenario could maybe lead to something akin to the Astartes, presupposing an extreme high level of genetical understanding and sophistication involved.
Still, genetically engineering could never lead to something similar to a Primarch. They are far too powerful and too invincible for any biological construct of their size, there must be 'magic' (ie. the power of the warp) involved. Immunity to all toxins and poisons is out of question for a biological system, as there are always molecules around mimicking functional proteins and leading to the malfunction or even shut down of essential metabolical systems.
Astartes and moreso Primarchs have such a huge energy output, that they must also somehow get a huge amount of energy input (ie. food) to keep standing and breathing. And regarding their immortality, they must somehow got around the degeneration of their telomeres without havig fist-sized tumors growing all over them.
In the end all this functions only with a lot of handwavium and is certainly not describable via scientific means. But still, it's a fantasy setting and therefore a lot is possible because of 'magic'...

DantesInferno
27-09-2006, 09:35
Primarchs have biological components that are susceptable to biological attack, whilst a phoenix lord is an animated suit of wraithbone with the souls of dozens of eldar warriors working as a gestalt to control it.

Sorry to nitpick, but the Phoenix Lords' suits aren't necessarily made out of wraithbone. We know they're some form of psycho-plastic, as are Aspect Warrior suits, and the latter are certainly not wraithbone.

In any case, the notion of divinity is such an undefined one in the 40k universe it's hard to say that merely being killable by physical weaponry could rule them out.

The last tussle I can remember here over the nature of divinity in the 40k universe can be found <here> (http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=40743&highlight=c%27tan+divinity).

I believe the only meaningful way you can define gods in the 40k universe is as powerful warp entities, but as evidenced in the above thread, there's the opposing opinion that purely physical beings (ie. C'tan) which can be gods too. Under that view, there's plenty of room for Primarchs, Phoenix Lords and a whole other range of things to make it to divinity.

Commander Ozae
27-09-2006, 14:53
being a god is all relative, if some being is so much more poweful or knowledgeable than me i might view it as a god. So the primarchs are gods compared to normal humans and even Astartes.